BIRMINGHAM: The Indian Athletics Contingent had officially challenged the decision of the long jump judges to commit a fault Murali Sreeshankarthe fourth attempt of which he said would have won him a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.
Silver medalist Sreeshankar said he initially thought he had a valid big jump on his fourth attempt, but it was ruled a foul under new laser-based technology used at the Games.
“The Indian Athletics Federation challenged the decision (regarding the fourth jump). Sreeshakar’s father and a senior AFI official went to see the video referee and other officials were there,” a source familiar with the development told PTI.
“But they (AFI officials) were fully convinced that the jump was a fault.”
Sreeshankar said he was surprised the fourth jump was called a fault.
“I was very surprised, you can’t call it (fourth jump) a foul because I never got past the foul board but she (the pit official) explained to me the exact position of the jump , the movement of my foot crossing the perpendicular plate,” Sreeshankar said in a virtual interaction.
“If it was the previous system we had in recent years, it wouldn’t have been called a foul,” said the national record holder (8.36m).
Sreeshankar and eventual gold winner Laquan Nairn of the Bahamas achieved the same best jumps at 8.08 m. Nairn was declared the gold winner as his second best 7.98m was better than Sreeshankar’s 7.84m.
According to the rules, if two jumpers are tied over the same distance, the one with the best second-best effort will be ranked ahead.
The new system (which also governs the triple jump) came into effect on November 1, 2021 after the World Athletics The Council gave its consent.
In the old manual system, a no-jump is called if an athlete is judged, while taking off, to have touched the ground beyond the take-off line. A plasticine board placed at a 45 degree angle has long been used to help with such decisions.
“According to the new technical rule, it will be a failed take-off if any part of the take-off shoe or foot breaks the vertical plane of the take-off line. It was felt that this would be more understandable and easier to judge,” World Athletics said in a statement in September 2020.
“The old rule sometimes allowed the tips to visibly touch the line without marking the clay. In the future, such moments must be fouls and the clay board, if used, must be set at 90°.”



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